Press Releases


 9th March 2017

A member of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) Critical Care Team today dropped in to St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth to thank volunteer staff from the League of Friends, St Mary’s Hospital, for their recent donation of over £20,000.  Critical Care Team Leader Pat Andrews was treated to a cup of tea and slice of cake by the volunteers, who provide customers with a friendly welcome and refreshments at the hospital’s shop and two coffee bars, knowing that the profits from their hard work will be donated to the hospital and health care in the local community.  The donation has allowed HIOWAA to buy life saving medical equipment for the Charity’s new Critical Care Team Vehicle.

Formed in 1949, The League of Friends, St Mary’s Hospital, was one of the first Leagues in the UK, and today continues to support the hospital, its staff, patients, outpatients and those receiving care in the community throughout Portsmouth.   Chairman David Frost commented,

‘Our volunteer staff have loved meeting a member of the HIOWAA Critical Care Team today.   I am delighted that they have been able to see the direct results of their efforts and that the money they have helped to raise has gone to such a worthwhile cause’.

HIOWAA’s new Critical Care Team Vehicle is crewed by a team of a HIOWAA Doctor and specialist Paramedic and has parallel capability to the Air Ambulance. The vehicle, a specially converted Volvo XC90, operates seven days a week, during the day, providing the same enhanced care as that delivered by the helicopter, but able to get to the  more difficult to reach urban areas.  Additionally, the vehicle provides a vital training platform for Pre-Hospital Emergency Doctors and Paramedics.

The donation From St Mary’s Hospital League of Friends has funded the purchase of all medical equipment carried in the Critical Care Team Vehicle, including a compact ventilator, a chest compression system and a mini ultrasound unit. A compact ventilator will take over the breathing of a patient in an induced coma, a chest compression system will allow on going cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during transportation and a mini ultrasound can be used at the roadside to examine a patient’s heart rhythm and check for internal injuries.

HIOWAA CEO Alex Lochrane commented; ‘In the event of a major incident, this medical equipment can make the difference between life and death.  We are incredibly grateful to The League of Friends, St Mary’s Hospital, for their generosity and their championship of HIOWAA’  

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance flies seven days a week and attends an average of two to three missions a day, many of them life saving.  The charity receives no government, statutory or national lottery funding for routine operations, and is entirely dependent on donations received from members of the public, companies and grant-making bodies to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance                                 Tel:  02380 333377
Caroline Tyree (PR and Communications Lead)

Melissa Hare (Press Officer)

Notes to Editors

Large file versions of all images are available
Alex Lochrane is available for interview

HIOWAA is the charity that delivers an advanced critical care team to people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight when they need it most.  Available both day and night, 365 days a year, the Air Ambulance critical care team is called out many times a day to attend to road traffic collisions, sporting accidents, collapses and many other incidents. Highly skilled crews of Doctors, Paramedics and Pilots can be at the scene of an incident within minutes, ready to deliver the same level of care that you would expect from a hospital emergency department.   Using an H135, the latest generation of EC135 helicopter We fly 7 days a week and attend to an average of 2-3 missions per day, many of them life saving.

The Air Ambulance can be anywhere within Hampshire in 15 minutes and anywhere within the Isle of Wight within 20 minutes.  It can land in areas the size of a tennis court and on almost any terrain. The charity also operates a critical care team vehicle, crewed by a team of HIOWAA doctors and paramedics, with parallel capability to the Air Ambulance and able to get to the more difficult to reach urban areas.

In early 2016 HIOWAA commenced night Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operations and is now able to undertake emergency missions during the hours of darkness, providing emergency medical support where and when it is needed most.

HIOWAA provides a vital life line to the Isle of Wight, bringing the emergency department to critically injured patients and transferring them to specialist hospitals on the mainland when necessary.  In the financial year for Oct 2015 – Sept 2016, nearly 21% of total missions were in support of the Isle of Wight. HIOWAA is able to undertake night transfers from the Isle of Wight until 2am.

HIOWAA receives no Government funding, and relies on the generosity of individuals and organisations to help save lives.  As a charity we only receive help through the secondment of paramedics from our key partner, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust – SCAS. To keep the Air Ambulance flying we need to raise over £9,000 a day.

Our medical achievements

  • We carry blood on board.
  • We have doctors on board for the majority of our missions.
  • We operate a modern H135 aircraft.
  • In 2016 we began night Helicopter Emergency Medical (HEMS) operations, enabling us to undertake emergency missions during the hours of darkness, reaching sick and injured people when they need us most.
  • In 2017 our critical care team vehicle became operational.

Our current fundraising aims

  • To maintain the current service.
  • To have a doctor on board for every mission.
  • To deliver extended flying hours, working towards a 24 hour service.

Our statistics

We fly 7 days a week, 365 days a year, both day and night.

  • RTC 33%
  • Cardiac/collapse 25%
  • Sports and falls 18%
  • Horse riding 16%
  • Industrial injury 4%
  • Transfers 3%

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